Plaid deputy writes to BBC over Brexit TV debate exclusion

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Plaid Cymru’s deputy leader and director of communications, Rhun ap Iorwerth AM, has written to the BBC’s Head of News and Public Affairs to ask them to invite other parties to take part in the proposed Brexit TV debate.

His letter follows the implication that only Prime Minister Theresa May and UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn would be permitted to take part in the BBC’s televised debate.

Rhun ap Iorwerth AM said the decision to exclude other parties was a ‘dereliction of duty’ and urged them to reconsider their decision.

In his letter to the BBC, Rhun ap Iorwerth noted that the public service broadcaster has a responsibility to ‘reflect all voices’ and called for ‘proper scrutiny and debate’.

Rhun ap Iorwerth AM’s letter says,

“As a public service broadcaster, the BBC has a responsibility to reflect all voices – your proposal for a televised debate fails that test.

“Plaid Cymru have been an active participant throughout the Brexit developments - both in Westminster and in the National Assembly for Wales, and have been one of the few political parties calling for a People’s Vote and for membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union to be retained.

“On a political level, Wales has been side-lined throughout the Brexit process. Through this proposal, the media is now perpetuating this.

“Televised debates are rightly now part of the course of UK and Welsh general elections and since the 2015 UK general election Plaid Cymru have participated in a number of UK-wide television debates.

“Our relationship with the EU will span generations; much more than the five-year parliamentary cycle. It is only right, therefore, that the televised debate on Brexit includes a plurality of parties and that people are given every opportunity to hear the diversity of options that they face.

“As a public service broadcaster, to deny representation in this debate for so many people and pursuing a debate that does not include representation from a diverse range of views would be a grave dereliction of duty.

“At a time when more than ever we need proper democratic scrutiny and debate, we ask that you reconsider your decision and duly invite other parties to participate in the televised debate on what is one of the biggest issues facing our generation with repercussions for all generations to come.

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